Texas Rangers

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 33 Kevin Matthews LHP Richmond Hill (Ga.) HS Ga. $936,000
In a down year for Georgia, high school pitching was particularly weak. Matthews jumped out, and not just because his athleticism allows him to dunk a basketball despite his 5-foot-10, 160-pound frame. He's a slight but quick-armed pitcher whose fastball has touched 94-95 mph, though he's usually in the 87-90 range. He has not shown the ability to sustain above-average velocity with any consistency. His tight curveball gives him a solid-average secondary pitch. He hasn't shown much of a changeup. Matthews' handle on Twitter is "UVAbound11," which gives a hint at the strength his Virginia commitment. While some scouts compare him to such recent draft picks as Kasey Kiker and Robbie Ross (both now in the Rangers system), others liken him more to lefthanded relievers such as Billy Wagner (obviously with less velocity). The consensus is that he's a future reliever due to the effort in his delivery.
1s 37 Zach Cone OF Georgia Ga. $873,000
Cone looks like a big leaguer but hasn't played like one this season. After hitting .363 as a sophomore, he was batting .283/.343/.382 as a junior, and scouts were saying more than just the new bats were at play. He appears to lack trust in his hitting ability, swinging early in counts and getting out on his front foot too often. Scouts question his pitch recognition, and he has drawn just 33 walks in three seasons. Cone's other tools range from good to outstanding. He's a plus runner with above-average range in center field. He has understandably played with less abandon after an early-season collision in the outfield that left teammate Jonathan Taylor in the hospital and partially paralyzed with a neck injury. He gets good enough jumps and reads in center field to profile as an above-average defender there. His arm has gone backward, playing fringe-average this spring after it was plus in the fall. Cone has solid raw power and strength, and ranks as one of the college ranks' best athletes, with physical ability comparable to fellow college outfielders such as Mikie Mahtook and George Springer. Even area scouts who see all his flaws expect Cone, who was a third-round pick out of high school in 2008, to improve on that by a round or so in 2011.
2 83 Will Lamb LHP Clemson S.C. $430,200
Will Lamb will be a tough call, as he has a pro body that scouts are eager to see in pro ball. He's tall and lean at 6-foot-6, 175 pounds, and has good athletic ability. He's the center fielder for the Tigers and had a better offensive season in 2011 (hitting .344 though with limited power) than in 2010 (.289, four homers), despite this year's lesser bats. Lamb's a fine defender as well and is an above-average runner (he hadn't hit into a double play all year), and scouts who believe in his power could send him out as a center or right fielder. He has told scouts he prefers to hit. More likely, he'll go out as a pitcher, where he has flashed two plus pitches. In shorter stints, Lamb uses his long levers and athleticism to flash 94-95 mph fastballs and a slider with bite and power. As a starter, though, he sits average or fringe-average with his velocity and babies his slider. His arm works and his delivery is sound, leaving scouts to believe Lamb could take off if he concentrates on pitching. Questions about his competitiveness and consistency make him more of an unknown than many of his peers. He could go out as soon as the fourth round.
3 113 Kyle Castro RHP Pleasant Grove HS, Elk Grove, Calif. Calif. $267,300
Righthander Kyle Castro has a projectable, athletic frame at 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds. He also starred on his high school football team as a defensive back and led the state with 12 interceptions last season. When he's not pitching, he plays third base and hits in the middle of the order. Teams prefer him on the mound, though, where he sits in the 88-90 mph range, topping out at 92. He throws a curveball that is inconsistent but shows flashes of being an above-average pitch. His mechanics are free and easy because of his athleticism, which along with his competitiveness and lack of a college commitment may push him up draft boards.
4 144 Desmond Henry OF Centennial HS, Compton, Calif. Calif. $200,000
Outfielder Desmond Henry's premium speed could make him a top-five-rounds pick. He's a well above-average runner with excellent range and an adequate arm in center field. He hit in the Area Code Games last summer, but his righthanded bat is still a major question mark. He has bat speed and hand-eye coordination, but he needs to shorten his swing and do a better job putting the ball in play, and on the ground. He has sneaky strength in his 6-foot, 175-pound frame, though his power is below-average.
5 174 Brandon Woodruff RHP Wheeler (Miss.) HS Miss.
Woodruff is perhaps Mississippi State's most important recruit as a raw power arm. He has a fluid arm action and pro body at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, and he's a good athlete who also played basketball, leading to a late start to his baseball season. He had three straight double-digit strikeout starts in March and April, when he flashed a 94 mph fastball and showed the ability to spin a power curveball. He's working on a changeup as his third pitch. Woodruff had pitched about 30 innings all spring, and some scouts consider him more typical of the raw Mississippi talent that has washed out in the past. His mechanics are inconsistent, and he hasn't faced great high school competition, though he has had some showcase exposure, including a spot in last year's Under Armour game. Most teams will consider him more of a summer follow than a first five rounds pick.
6 204 Derek Fisher OF Cedar Crest HS, Lebanon, Pa. Pa.
Heading into the spring, Fisher looked like he could sneak into the first round thanks to his bat and body. Terrible weather in Pennsylvania has made it tough for scouts to get a good look at him, however, and Fisher has been inconsistent when he has played. He has swung and missed a lot, been too aggressive on balls out of the zone and not aggressive enough on strikes. He has an extra load at the plate this spring and now it seems to be a mental block. When he is on, Fisher shows an above-average bat with above-average power. He has a strong frame at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds and has shown good speed in the past. He plays center field now but eventually will get too big and will have to move to left field, and he should provide solid defense there. He is committed to Virginia and isn't considered an easy sign, but he could still go in the first two rounds if scouts see him perform well before the draft.
7 234 Max Pentecost C Winder-Barrow HS, Winder, Ga. Ga.
Pentecost got plenty of early exposure with his solid athleticism and intriguing bat. An elbow injury in April turned out to require Tommy John surgery, but a similar injury didn't keep fellow Georgia prep catcher Luke Bailey from getting picked two years ago. Pentecost doesn't have Bailey's track record, though. He's committed to Kennesaw State.
8 264 Kyle Hendricks RHP Dartmouth N.H. $125,000
A few Ivy League pitchers from the Upper New England region have a chance to get taken, headlined by Dartmouth's Kyle Hendricks, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound righty from California. Hendricks was taken in the 39th round by the Angels in 2008, and he still shows the 90-95 mph fastball that piqued scouts' interest, though the pitch doesn't have much life. Hendricks has three offspeed pitches in his repertoire, including a curveball, hard slider and changeup. He could get taken in the top 15 rounds.
9 294 Rashad Harlin OF Helix Charter HS, La Mesa, Calif. Calif. $100,000
Outfielder Rashard Harlin, a teammate of Top 200 prospect Jake Reed, is considered signable inside the top 10 rounds but has a chance to wind up at San Diego State, as well. He has a short track record and generated a bit of buzz this spring, showing slightly above-average speed and an average-to-plus arm. He is strong and athletic, while his bat is unrefined. Harlin is a bit of a wild card and could be drafted anywhere from the fifth to the 15th round.
10 324 Joe Maloney C Limestone (S.C.) S.C. $90,000
Joe Maloney was the state's top catching prospect among college players. He's a Pennslyvania native and switch-hitter with power who hit 16 homers this spring. He has good strength in his 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame.
11 354 Connor Sadzeck RHP Howard (Texas) JC Texas $350,000
Sadzeck consistently threw in the low 90s and topped out at 95 mph with good armside run on his fastball. Though he's 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, he sacrifices downhill plane by using a drop-and-drive delivery. Of greater concern is his lack of command, as he has an easier time throwing strikes with his slider than his fastball. Projected as a reliever in pro ball, he'll head to Texas as a sophomore if he doesn't sign this summer.
12 384 Greg Williams LHP Marshall W.Va. $125,000
Williams shows solid velocity in workouts, but he has thrown just 62 innings in three years, walking 44 in that span.
13 414 Chris Grayson OF Lee (Tenn.) Tenn.
14 444 Andrew Faulkner LHP South Aiken (S.C.) HS S.C. $125,000
15 474 Jerad Eickhoff RHP Olney Central (Ill.) JC Ill. $150,000
Righthander Jerad Eickhoff used a heavy 88-91 mph sinker that touches 93 and a newly developed cutter to rank among the national juco strikeout leaders with 116 in 89 innings. He has good size at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, though he needs to work on maintaining his velocity deeper into games and improving his secondary pitches. A 46th-round pick of the Cubs last year, he has committed to Western Kentucky.
16 504 Trever Adams OF Creighton Neb.
Creighton won its first Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title since 2005 and its first MVC tournament championship since 2007, led by a pair of seniors who went undrafted a year ago. Outfielder Trever Adams has been the Bluejays' most dangerous hitter since transferring from Hutchinson (Kan.) CC. Strong and compact at 6 feet and 200 pounds, he had no trouble adjusting to the new bats. He carried a .392 average, a MVC-best 14 homers and a 42-game on-base streak into the NCAA regional playoffs. The righthanded hitter can get overly aggressive at the plate at times. His bat, power, speed and arm are all solid tools, and he profiles well as a right fielder.
17 534 Ryan Rua SS Lake Erie (Ohio) Ohio
18 564 Nick Martinez RHP Fordham N.Y.
19 594 Nathan Harsh LHP Brunswick (Ga.) HS Ga.
20 624 Nick Vickerson SS Mississippi State Miss.
21 654 Chance Sossamon RHP Wichita State Kan.
22 684 T.J. Costen SS First Colonial HS, Virginia Beach Va.
The state had a lightning-fast high schooler in Mitchell Shifflett in 2010, and doubts about his bat and his commitment to Virginia led to him not getting drafted at all. While T.J. Costen can handle the bat a little better, he figures to follow a similar path. A plus (or better) runner, three years with South Carolina could turn him into a dynamic player.
23 714 Mike Mason LHP Marshall W.Va.
Mason has a 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame that can drift to the soft side, and he throws strikes with an average fastball.
24 744 Zach Fish C Gull Lake HS, Richland, Mich. Mich.
25 774 Jordan Remer LHP San Francisco Calif.
26 804 Ryan Bores RHP Cuyahoga (Ohio) CC Ohio
27 834 Kyle Devore RHP Sacramento CC Calif.
28 864 Saquan Johnson OF East Bladen HS, Elizabethtown, N.C. N.C.
29 894 Nick Sawyer RHP Howard (Texas) JC Texas
Sawyer is just 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, but he has a lightning-quick arm that produces 94-96 mph fastballs. He has committed to Oklahoma for his sophomore season.
30 924 Phil Klein RHP Youngstown State Ohio
31 954 Matt Leeds 3B College of Charleston S.C.
The Cougars' top player the last two seasons, third baseman Matt Leeds, hit 18 homers this season even with the new bats, though Charleston's bandbox ballpark takes some of the shine off that. He's a switch-hitter and a fair athlete who already has graduated with honors as a fourth-year junior. He's an aggressive hitter who strikes out a lot.
32 984 Sam Robinson LHP Miami Fla.
33 1014 Jonathan Taylor OF Georgia Ga.
34 1044 Taylor Dennis RHP Southern Indiana Ind.
Righthander Taylor Dennis was named MVP of the NCAA Division II College World Series in 2010 after winning two starts to lead Southern Indiana to its first-ever national title. Wiry and athletic at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, he has a quick arm that delivers hard sinkers up to 94 mph. His slider is a fringy second pitch.
35 1074 Cy Sneed RHP Twin Falls (Idaho) HS Idaho
High school righthander Cy Sneed has a tall, slender frame and has been mostly in the 86-89 mph range this spring. He just doesn't have a lot of strength yet, so he'll likely wind up at Dallas Baptist. A team that likes his arm speed and projection, however, might try to bring him in now. His older brother Zeb has been up to 95 mph this year as a sophomore at Northwest Nazarene in Idaho and should be a draft prospect next year.
36 1104 Jeremy Williams OF Mobile (Ala.) Ala.
37 1134 Bryce Greager SS Fountain Hills (Ariz.) HS Ariz.
38 1164 Tucker Donahue RHP Stetson Fla.
Reliever Tucker Donahue, who also had made eight starts, ranked second at Stetson in innings and was the Hatters' moment-of-truth reliever. He has excellent life on his sinking fastball, which sits 91-92 and touches 94 mph. His slider is fringy and his changeup is below-average, and for the most part he pitches off his sinker.
39 1194 Trumon Jefferson OF Decatur (Ga.) HS Ga.
40 1224 Josh Peterson RHP Unaka HS, Elizabethton, Tenn. Tenn.
41 1254 Tyler Scott OF Marin Catholic HS, Kentfield, Calif. Calif.
42 1284 Joey Pankake RHP Easley (S.C.) HS S.C.
A strong performer this spring, South Carolina signee Joey Pankake, had the tools to get drafted but like English lacks physicality. Pankake hit and pitched for Easley and was an all-state basketball player as well despite his 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame. He has played varsity since eighth grade and has shown excellent defensive versatility, playing all over the diamond. He has excellent arm strength and has bumped 92-94 mph as a closer, though in longer stints, his velocity fades into the mid-80s. He's a line-drive machine at the plate who makes a lot of contact, at times at the expense of power. He's probably a better fit at second or third base in pro ball, and his lack of power hinders his third-base profile.
43 1314 Kaleb Merck RHP Texas Christian Texas
Several college pitchers expected to rank among the state's top prospects instead lost most or all of the season to arm problems: Texas Christian's Kaleb Merck (out with Tommy John surgery), Houston's Jared Ray (recovery from shoulder surgery), Texas' Austin Dicharry (diminished command after coming back from shoulder tendinitis) and Texas A&M's Ross Hales (lost his mechanics while rehabbing a shoulder injury). Merck hit 96 mph in the Cape Cod League last summer, albeit with a max-effort delivery.
44 1344 Philip Pfeifer LHP Farragut HS, Knoxville Tenn.
The state's high school class, like the college group with Vanderbilt, is top-heavy. Lefty Philip Pfeifer once ranked at the top of the class, despite a 6-foot, 196-pound frame. His polish, average fastball and plus curveball with true 12-to-6 action should make him successful at Vanderbilt, and scouts expect him to head to school. Already the state's career wins leader, Pfeifer didn't pitch for six weeks until starting the state title game, getting four outs and throwing 24 pitches. He could be picked as a summer follow, but he should be a good prospect again after three years with the Commodores.
45 1374 Brandon Finnegan LHP Southwest HS, Fort Worth Texas
46 1404 Tyler Powell RHP Myers Park HS, Charlotte N.C.
47 1434 Kevin Moriarty RHP Shorewood HS, Shoreline, Wash. Wash.
Blake Snell has two teammates who also will likely wind up in college but show potential: righthander Kevin Moriarty and first baseman Trevor Mitsui. Moriarty's father Todd played professionally, spending two seasons in the Giants system. Moriarty has intriguing size at 6-foot-5 and 170 pounds, but he's more about projection than present stuff and will be tough to pry away from his Gonzaga commitment.
48 1464 C.J. Edwards RHP Mid-Carolina HS, Prosperity, S.C. S.C.
49 1494 Mick Van Vossen RHP Forest Hills Central HS, Grand Rapids, Mich. Mich.
50 1523 K.C. Wiser RHP Linfield (Ore.) Ore.